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Asinine herpesvirus-3 (equine herpesvirus-8)-associated neurological disease in a donkey


A 30-year-old female donkey with pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) was referred to the Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, for losing weight despite good appetite and treatment for PPID. Twelve days after returning home, the mare developed nasal discharge, and the next day it was found recumbent and was only able to stand up with manual assistance. The next day the mare showed severe tetraparesis, ataxia, and hypotonia of anus, tail and bladder, and it became completely recumbent. Equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy was suspected, and to confirm the diagnosis a deep nasal swab was taken. Because of the poor prognosis the mare was euthanased. The swab scored very strong positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) and virus isolation was performed to enable further characterisation of the virus. The identity of the virus was again confirmed as EHV-1 with type-specific monoclonal antibodies, but sequencing identified the virus as asinine herpesvirus-3 (EHV-8).

  • diagnostics
  • PCR
  • ASHV-3
  • EHV-8
  • neurological disease
  • donkey
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